Lake Company, B-35
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member drmellow
N 35° 52.352 W 076° 23.511
18S E 374350 N 3970705
Quick Description: Lake Company. Josiah Collins, Sr., and partners drained part of 100,000-acre tract near Lake Phelps with 6-mile canal, completed 1788; mouth 2 mi. southeast.
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 5/6/2006 1:10:02 PM
Waymark Code: WMC1M
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GeoGordie
Views: 21

Long Description:

Text on marker:

Lake Company
Josiah Collins, Sr., and partners drained part of 100,000-acre tract near Lake Phelps with 6-mile canal, completed 1788; mouth 2 mi. southeast.

This historical marker is located on US 64 at Sixth Street in Creswell. It was erected in 1955.

The North Carolina Office of Archives and History has an overview describing the formation of Lake Company:

In 1784, a group of men from Halifax and Edenton received authorization from the General Assembly to drain the lake—known to be higher than the surrounding land—and farm its fertile bottom. The group also made a survey revealing some 10,000 acres of adjacent rich swampland as higher in elevation than the Scuppernong River, some six miles away. Construction of an irrigation system, they reasoned, might make the swamp suitable for rice cultivation. About the same time two Edenton members of the association, businessman Nathaniel Allen and Samuel Dickinson, took Josiah Collins, also of Edenton, into a second partnership known as the "Lake Company." This organization soon acquired over 100,000 acres of land in the area, and apparently superseded the first group. Collins himself held an additional 60,000 acres east of the lake on the Alligator River.

Although each member of the Lake Company was one of Edenton's most prominent citizens, Josiah Collins (1735-1819) proved to be the most important of the three in subsequent activity at the lake. Collins had come to the colonies in 1773 and settled in Edenton in 1774, where he became a prosperous merchant, shipper, and manufacturer of rope. His son, Josiah Jr. (1763-1839) joined him in his various businesses.

The partnership of the Lake Company hinged upon a verbal agreement in 1784 for acquiring land near Lake Phelps, and digging a canal from the lake to the Scuppernong River to facilitate transportation and drainage of the land. Collins went to Boston to fit out a slave ship that would sail to West Africa. This vessel returned in early 1786 with about 100 enslaved Africans. These slaves were immediately put to work on the canal, and they finished its six-mile straight course—with a width of 20 feet and a depth of four to six feet—in 1788.

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Marker Name: B-35: Lake Company

Marker Type: Roadside

Related Web Link: [Web Link]

Required Waymark Photo: yes

Local North Carolina markers without State Number Designation: Not listed

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